Un projet Labex Arts H2H
en /fr
2012 - 2016

Digital Homunculus
By Martin C. Doppelt

University of Chicago, Department of Anthropology


Every consumptive practice leaves its trace upon the world. What occurs when our own traces are made manifest, objectified, and set before us? Silent marketing machines build shadowy profiles of our perceived expectations and desires, and return these to us as mass-advertising. This in itself is nothing particularly new. Code, however, has now advanced to such a point that any engagement within the digital realm becomes immediately subject to myriad processes, the great majority invisible, of calculation, categorization, and curation. Our exquisite particularities may be catered to with an everincreasing degree of intense precision. But pushing further still: what occurs when our objectified consumptive personas are imbued with animus, turn to us, and begin to speak with voices we do not recognize as quite our own? Drawing from the works of Theodor Adorno and Max Horkheimer, as well as the writings of Roland Barthes, this project considers what happens when the traces of our online consumptive practices finally seem to become entities separable from ourselves. What implications does this hold for the future of the human-digital subject? 

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Un projet Labex Arts H2H